Steve Harvey releases new ‘relationship’ book: Straight Talk, No Chaser



Until last year, Harvey, 53, was probably best known as one of the “Original Kings of Comedy” and from Spike Lee’s 2000 film about the group’s tour. Then he wrote a dating guidebook, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment,” and quickly became a phenomenon.

Presenting himself to single women everywhere as a traitor to the male cause, a spiller of state secrets, Harvey wound up on morning talk shows, magazine covers, on Oprah three days in a row, dispensing curiously retrograde advice with a generous smile. In person, he is enormous, well over 6-foot and as wide as two men. His moustache is so flat and immaculately groomed that it almost looks fake. He takes a seat in a nondescript office at WBLS in Midtown; he has just come off the air from his morning radio show.

Harvey’s first book, which read as though the feminist movement never took place and was predicated on the notion that women — all of them — feverishly nurse the hope to get married and have babies, went on to sell 2 million copies.

“These kinds of books are pretty much all about the same thing,” says Sarah Gold, senior review editor at Publishers Weekly. “They flood in every year.” There are so many that she gets exhausted: “How many reviews of ‘How To Find a Guy’ can I run?” she says, laughing.

As a genre it’s indestructible, though there’s no algorithm for a smash. “In publishing, it’s impossible to tell which book is going to catch fire,” she says. “Some of it has to do with tone and style, how good the author is on TV. It helps if they have a platform, a built-in audience.” Harvey reaches 7 million listeners a day.

Shortly after the book’s release, he became such a popular self-help guru that Winfrey reportedly offered him his own show — until some inconvenient facts caused her to reconsider. More on that later.

Harvey’s follow-up, “Straight Talk, No Chaser,” was published this week, and is already a bestseller. It has much in common with his first book, offering old-fashioned ideas of the archetypal male and female: The man is uncomplicated, dominant, the provider and protector, while the woman should defer to her man and engage in more than a little manipulation to reach her ultimate goal: a ring. Perhaps the comedian has hit a sweet spot among women who feel the culture has spun off its axis, that the sexual and financial liberation of women has resulted in a fundamental breakdown between the sexes.

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0 Comments

  • RoundupRussy

    Reply Reply December 13, 2010

    What is Steve Harvey doing to Encourage Black Love?? His last book said Men love different than women so deal with it or go.. So far this book says Men can’t have females friends.. Sounds like he’s riding the wave of Successful Black people not being able to meet each other. NO THANK YOU

  • Shonda P.

    Reply Reply December 16, 2010

    Hi Tito! In my opinion, the redefinition of roles in heterosexual relationships involves much more than the liberation of women. I have spoken with several mothers that have sons who are being raised with no father. Knowing the importance of a father’s role in her son’s development, she suffers from guilt regardless of where the fault truly lies. To compensate for this absence, the sons are given more than what they need. The more she gives him, the less he works for. Hence, the trend begins. Boys that never become men seek women who will care for him as Mom once did. In a society where accountability, integrity, and responsibility is scarce, no one discredits his actions. This cycle has become so common that it is now a social norm.

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